February 21, 2010

The Case for Robert Glenn - Player of the Year

Robert Glenn. When anyone outside of the Summit League hears that name, they probably think about an astronaut or a professor. But when anyone who follows Summit League basketball hears that name, they think of a young man who's stock is skyrocketing and puts on clinics almost every night.
When I started at IUPUI's Red Zone last year, I was told of this JuCo transfer that was supposed to be incredible. Well, he was good, but we knew he was capable of much more.
This year, we were all beyond excited to see how hard this senior would work. The first game of the season against Drake, we found out exactly what we were getting ourselves into. Glenn missed three shots all night, going 15-17 from the floor and 7-8 from the line for an astonishing 37 points, put together with 7 boards, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal. Obviously no one can score 37 points a night, but 19.8 for the season isn't exactly bad (not to mention there are two more games left in the regular season), especially since he's shooting 59.5% from the floor. #23 averages only 11.8 shots per game to his 7 makes per game. If that doesn't sound like a lot, factor in his 7.4 freethrows per game, 3.4 more than Alex (4.0 per game).
Robert is absolutely one of the most versatile players on the floor for the Jaguars. He commands a presence inside that opens the floor up for Alex or Leroy or John or Billy or Sean or....., and now with his new found outside shot (Rob, if you're reading this, wtf?!) he has become a even more imposing dual threat. His ability to drive hard to the basket to either draw a foul (and subsequently shoot 76% from the line - not GREAT but when you go to the line 15 times a game definitely puts a hurt on the opposing team) or make some sort of acrobatic, backwards, crazy shot over anyone in the league makes him absolutely impossible to guard. Big men can't take the risk of going out to the perimeter and little guys get blown by on the way to a monster slam. Athletic guys get jumped over inside and big guys get spun around.
Averaging 19.8 points isn't just impressive by itself, its who he does it against that's amazing. 37 at Drake to start the season. 24 against Duquesne, a huge mid-major match up. 25 and 28 against Oral Roberts, IUPUI's nemesis. 21 and 26 against Oakland, the Summit League's #1. In Summit League play alone he's averaging 21.9 points due to 63% from the floor and 50% from long distance. Overall, Rob is 37th in the nation in shooting percent, and 33rd in points per game (one spot ABOVE Ohio State's Evan Turner).
Let's compare Rob to Oakland's Keith Benson, the only true competition in my (and most people's) eyes. Rob (**currently**) has 5 Summit Player of the Week awards to Benson's 4. Rob is averaging 19.8 to Keith's 16.9. Keith has played more minutes, but is losing the points per 40 minutes race 26.4-21.8, showing Rob is the more effective player when he's in the game. Glenn also has the advantage in effective shooting percent (60.1-54.1), shot percent (30.3-23.8), and true shooting percent (64.8-59.4). Benson dishes MUCH less than Rob, averaging only .767 assists per game to Glenn's 1.69. Rob also averages more steals (1.21) than Keith (.37). To intangibles, again Rob has the advantage. Rob averages 6.1 in the plus/minus category to Keith's 4.7. True, one could argue Benson averages more blocks and rebounds per game...But do those categories make him better? Or just taller? In a league filled with mid-sized players, the ability to dominate big and small opponents takes precedence over just being taller than everyone else.
Week after week, Rob continues to propel himself forward. After a little shaky time against some bigger name teams (Kansas State-3pts [0-9], Notre Dame-19pts [8-18], Memphis-11pts [2-7]), but he bounced back every time (SDST-21pts, IUSB-24pts, IPFW-6pts [in just 15 minutes]). He's scored 20+ points 16 times, and single digits only 3 times. He shot under 50% only 7 times, and under 44% just three times.
Ladies and gentlemen, Robert Glenn, your 2009-2010 Summit League Player of the Year.

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